US stock futures inch up after Facebook, Ford, Caterpillar and others report quarterly results


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NEW YORK — U.S. stock futures rose ahead of the opening bell on Thursday as several big companies across industries reported second-quarter earnings.

KEEPING SCORE: Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 25 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,050 as of 9:10 a.m. Eastern time. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures added three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,984. Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,986.

FACEBOOK SURGES: Facebook rose $5.29, or 7.4 percent, $76.44 in premarket trading after beating expectations for earnings. The world's largest social media company said late Wednesday that it earned $788 million, or 30 cents per share, in the April-June period.

GM STALLS: General Motors fell 86 cents, or nearly 2 percent, to $36.55 early Thursday after reporting second-quarter earnings fell 85 percent. The automaker, which is in the midst of the worst recall crisis in its history, posted a net profit of $190 million, or 11 cents per share.

FORD BEATS: Ford Motor Co. rose 27 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $18.05 before the opening. It reported second-quarter earnings that rose 6 percent to $1.3 billion on gains in Europe.

CAT FALL: Caterpillar fell $2.87, or 2.7 percent, to $105.49 in premarket trading. Second-quarter net income rose 4.1 percent, beating expectations, but revenue slipped.

FEWER JOBLESS CLAIMS: The Labor Department reported weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000. That's the lowest reading since February 2006, nearly two years before the Great Recession began.

EUROPE: Major markets in Europe moved higher, adding to advances for the week. Germany's DAX added 0.5 percent, while France's CAC 40 picked up 0.9 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.1 percent.

BONDS AND OIL: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note nudged up to 2.49 percent from 2.47 percent late Wednesday. Bond yields rise when prices fall. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 40 cents to $102.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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